SB 243 – Medi-Cal Reimbursement Rate Increase-Please Support!

Posted on April 17, 2015

SB 243 – Medi-Cal Reimbursement Rate Increase
SB 243 (Hernandez), one of CAHSAH’s priority Support bills, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, April 22. This bill would repeal the implementation of prior year Medi-Cal rate reductions, including the 10 percent reduction for affected Medi-Cal providers and would increase payment rates for specified health care providers up to Medicare payment levels. CAHSAH has secured amendments on this bill which include home health and hospice services.
Please contact all members of the Senate Health Committee (listed below)and urge them to SUPPORT SB 243 to ensure home health and hospice services remain accessible for all Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

Talking Points:

·         With the full implementation of the Medi-Cal expansion under the Affordable Care Act resulting in over 11 million people enrolled in the Medi-Cal program, it makes no sense to continue Medi-Cal provider rates reductions enacted during California’s economic downturn.  We must ensure that Medi-Cal provider rates provide sufficient access to all Medi-Cal beneficiaries

·         Ranked 48th among all states, California already pays its Medi-Cal fee-for-service providers some of the lowest rates in the entire country. Overall, Medi-Cal compensated physicians at only 51 percent of Medicare levels.

·         Medi-Cal provider rates for home health services have not been increased since 2001.  Home health is cost effective care that allows patients to receive care in the safety and comfort of their own home.  Medi-Cal provider rates for home health services do not reflect the current cost of providing care which has steadily increased.

·         Lack of access to home health services will shift care to more costly emergency rooms and result in unnecessary hospital readmissions. Linking home health Medi-Cal rates to established Medicare rates will help to promote access for all Medi-Cal beneficiaries throughout California.

·         Requiring annual increases will help to ensure the end of Medi-Cal provider rate neglect.


Member District Party Room Phone Fax
Isadore Hall 35 D 4085 (916) 651-4035 (916) 651-4935
Ed Hernandez (Chair) 22 D 2080 (916) 651-4022 (916) 651-4922
Holly Mitchell 30 D 5080 (916) 651-4030 (916) 651-4930
William Monning 17 D 313 (916) 651-4017 (916) 651-4917
Janet Nguyen 34 R 3048 (916) 651-4034 (916) 651-4934
Jim Nielsen 4 R 2068 (916) 651-4004 (916) 651-4904
Richard Pan 6 D 4070 (916) 651-4006 (916) 651-4906
Richard Roth 31 D 4034 (916) 651-4031 (916) 651-4931
Lois Wolk 3 D 5114 (916) 651-4003 (916) 651-4903


Dementia Communication Strategies

Posted on April 16, 2015

Dementia Communication Strategies

Dementia Communication Strategies for Caregivers

Dementia communication strategies are necessary for the primary caregiver of dementia sufferers. Often, caregivers become distressed at the changes that occur in behavior or verbalization that happen as dementia progresses. Filters often fall to the wayside and inappropriate or embarrassing outburst can occur. It is important to remember that these outburst or comments are not a reflection of your loved one, it is simply the dementia.

One of the most difficult aspects in dementia care is communication. Dementia sufferers often experience trouble in processing information as the condition progresses. This, in combination with a decreased ability to express their needs, can cause significant distress for the dementia sufferer and those caring for them.

People with advanced dementia are dealing with cognitive deficits and associated behavioral issues. This issues include anxiety, fear, depression and frustration. It is most helpful to be aware of these changes and approach conversations in a caring, compassionate and calm manner.

Other helpful dementia communication strategies:

  • Never appear angry or authoritative, approach an individual with a smile and soothing voice. This will increase the possibility of relaxation and openness to conversation
  • Always state who you are and your purpose for being there.
  • Speak slowly and reduce movements.
  • Speak to them directly, with good eye contact. If a primary caregiver is present, they can provide any clarification or additional information regarding any questions ask.
  • Include them in all conversation. Marginalizing someone will create feelings of anger and confusion.
  • Minimize external distractions, especially if trying to give instructions.
  • Keep sentences short, using familiar words.
  • Wait patiently for responses. It will take them longer to process what you have said.
  • If asking questions, try to use Yes/No questions.
  • If giving instructions, issue one instruction at a time.
  • Give time to answer, if necessary repeat the question slowly and clearly.

If agitation occurs remember:

  • Remain calm.
  • Remain patient.
  • Try rephrasing request or question.
  • Use distraction and redirection if behaviors/responses become inappropriate.

If your attempt to communicate at that moment are not working, be willing to move to another topic or abandon the conversation presently. You can always try again, shortly, when the person calms down. There is no sense in forcing the situation, as this will do nothing more than increase agitation.

Above all, remember that there should be no power-struggle. It will be much more rewarding and effective to attempt to gain consensus and cooperation.

Gabriela F. Brown, CSA
Constant Companions Home Care








Home Care Telephony – ClearCare

Posted on April 16, 2015

Home Care Telephony System - Clear Care

Using The Latest in Home Care Telephony Technology


Recently, Constant Companions launched the use of the ClearCare System and home care telephony program. This program allows us to better track the attendance and activities our home care staff, provide timely updates to care plans, allow real-time access to information and updates to our clients and their families (if authorized by the client).  All care plans are entered into the system with specific activities outlined for each shift.

Before the caregivers can clock out they must update all activities and tasks assigned for the day. If they are unable to perform a certain activity or task, they must leave a verbal message as to why. Additionally, they can record a change in condition for both the agency and the family to hear. This has improved our ability to identify new needs in a timely manner and coordinate additional care and services as well as communicate more effectively with family members.

Home Care telephony technology records exact in and out times of all caregivers as they call in from the client’s home phone, assuring timely arrival and departure. If the caregiver is late in clocking in or out, an alert is sent to the office and is handled appropriately. These telephony logs are used to produce accurate and timely billing, significantly reducing discrepancies and encouraging prompt and full attendance in the home.

We are thrilled with the implementation of the Clear Care System and we are committed to continued efforts to provide access to accountable and experience care to the residents of San Diego and Riverside Counties. Please feel free to give us a call any time with questions or concerns, we welcome all input.

Please visit the ClearCare website for more information: ClearCare: Powerful Home Care Software

Submitted by Gabriela F. Brown, CSA
Constant Companions Home Care